SECTION 1. There is hereby established a special commission to study concussions that occur as a result of varsity sports in public and private high schools. The commission shall consist of 9 members, one of whom shall be the commissioner of public health or designee, who shall serve as chair, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts; and 5 of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, 1 of whom shall be a physician with expertise in the management of sports-related concussions; 1 of whom shall be a researcher specializing in the study of the long-term consequences of brain trauma; 1 of whom is a professional whose primary responsibility is that of athletic director at a Massachusetts high school; and 1 of whom is a representative of private school athletic programs in Massachusetts. In appointing members of the commission, consideration shall be given to race, gender and geographic diversity.
The commission shall: (i) analyze current data on the prevalence and causes of sports-related concussions; (ii) review the rules associated with each sport and safety policies currently in effect with respect to each such sport; (iii) analyze the data collected through system established in Section 2; and (iv) study the cost and effectiveness of baseline concussion testing of athletes
The commission shall make recommendations regarding: (i) methods of reducing and preventing concussions; (ii) procedures to be employed by schools to identify and respond to occurrences of concussions; (iii) whether baseline concussion testing should be required for students participating in high school athletics; (iv) any legislation the commission deems necessary to effect its recommendations; and (v) Review educational standards and materials on concussions and long-term consequences of brain trauma
The commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the joint committee on public health no later than May 1, 2022. The commission shall also submit a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations with the committee on or before December 1, 2021.
(A) The Department of Public Health (DPH), in consultation with the special commission to study concussions established in Section 1, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), shall develop, no later than July 1, 2021, a system to collect and analyze high school sports injury and health related data. The system shall:
(i) Be developed in consultation with a technology partner with a successful work history of developing such platforms
(ii) Have a standardized system by which schools can report required data
(a) At Low or no cost to the school
(b) At Minimum, or, where possible a net reduction in, administration burden on schools and their staff
(iii) Include injury and health data, such as pre-participation forms and information and injury data including concussions and heat acclimatization and information on COVID-19 screen.
(iv) Comply with all relevant federal and state laws, including the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
(B) The Department of Public Health (DPH) shall from the data collected under section (a), prepare and represent an annual report on high school sports injuries and prevention.
(i) The report shall be presented to the:
(b) Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
(c) The Joint Committee on Education of the Massachusetts General Court,
(d) The Joint Committee on Public Health of the Massachusetts General Court
(e) The special commission to study concussions established in Section 1, and
(f) State high school athletic associations
(ii) The report shall:
(a) Summarize the data they have collected, particularly over the last year
(b) Make recommendations, based on the data, to improve the safety of high school sports participants
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